Bolivia no match for hosts depite Neymar's absence
Brazil kick-off the Copa America against Bolivia on Saturday. Can the favourites still find a way to win without Neymar? Have a read of our preview here:
Brazil still favourites despite Neymar’s absence
If you are of a certain age you will have been able to watch some supremely talented forwards take to the pitch for the Selecao over the years. Romario, Ronaldo, Adriano have all had their moments but the new face of the national team, a certain Mr Neymar, will not be fit to take part in the Copa America.
This may not be the disaster some media outlets are making it out to be. Brazil have strength in depth in almost every area with the star attacker the only missing piece. Tite will not be worried as he has already adapted by moving Coutinho further forward, although he could go with Ajax starlet David Neres instead such are his options.
This is a robust Brazil side with defensive quality and midfield grit offered by the likes of Casemiro, Allan and Fernandinho. These three are the kind of players Brazilian sides in the past have missed so Tite will be delighted to have such dilemmas here.
If that is not enough then you could also bring in Everton’s Richarlison and Manchester City’s FA Cup final hero, Gabriel Jesus into the picture just to demonstrate the kind of quality oozing out of this Brazil side.
Bolivia unlikely to offer much resistance
It may seem unfair just to dismiss the Bolivian’s chances in this opening match but they are a side without the kind of quality needed to challenge Brazil.
They did hold the hosts to a 0-0 drawback in 2017 but will need Marcelo Moreno to be at his absolute best if they are to get anything here. The striker, who plays in China for Shijiazhuang Ever Bright, has scored 17 times for the National team and is the focal point of their attacks.
In the recent 2-0 defeat to France, he led the line well, supported ably by Raul Castro but Brazil will likely have too much for this pair to handle.
Brazil v Bolivia Copa America betting tip
Despite Brazil being without poster boy Neymar, they should still have more than enough to see of a side that lacks the kind of quality and depth of their hosts. Therefore, backing Brazil to win this game by three goals at odds of 10/3 makes a lot of sense.